No doubt, we are busy people these days. With so much information around us, it’s easy to forget things like great ideas for work, appointment times, or even what we want to buy at the store. Many different apps can keep a list for you to check later, and Google Assistant is one of the most popular.
On its own, Google Assistant has an incredible amount of features that make your life more functional, but when you pair it with other programs, you increase its value exponentially. And that’s what we’re going to do here, provide those who are just a bit scattered with an even better way to make sure we accomplish those tasks.
Because if you’re anything like me, you end up forgetting to check the list, but luckily there are some useful tech hacks that work for the most scattered of people!
Applets to the rescue
Using an applet, a small application that performs one specific task that runs within a larger program, you can create actions that run automatically by connecting two different programs. One of these applets allows you to connect Google Assistant with Gmail to not only record your thoughts but also have them delivered to you via email in one daily digest email.
If you are not familiar with applets, the prospect of doing something like this may sound daunting, but the process is straightforward and effortless to do.
To create this connection, you need to create an account in a service called IFTTT. This company provides a software platform to connect apps, devices, and services from different developers. On this site you will find a wide selection of applets that connect many different technologies.
Create your daily digest
Once you’ve created your account in IFTTT, follow these instructions to activate the applet that will provide you with your daily digest email.
1. Search for “keep a list of notes” in the search bar.
2. Click on the result “Keep a list of notes to email yourself at the end of the day.” (Yes, that is the name of the applet)
3. Turn on the applet using the toggle switch.
4. Connect your account if you haven’t done so already.
5. Give the necessary permissions for the applet to work.
6. Fill in different ways you might ask the program to add information to the list. You can leave it the way it is, but you may want to change the wording to make it match your unique speech patterns. The $ stands for the item that Google Assistant will add to the list.
7. If you wish, change the time to have the email delivered at a different hour of the day.
8. Click Save.
That’s it. The applet is now activated and ready to run.
Would you like to keep separate lists instead of putting everything in one? You can create a different version of the applet by clicking “Create a different version of this applet.” When you list your command line options, make sure they are different than the original versions.
Another way to remember the list
If you are still worried you won’t remember to read the list, you can also set up your Gmail to automatically forward the email to an online productivity system you use, such as Evernote, Slack, or Trello. Theoretically, you can send this digest to any productivity software that has an email address you can send items to. Test it on your preferred system to see if it works.
To send these emails, set up an email filter in Gmail that recognizes all emails that come from your Daily Digest, and forward them without any input from you.
To set up the forwarding of the Daily Digest:
1. Open Gmail.
2. Go into Settings.
3. Click on “Forwarding and POP/IMAP.”
4. Click “Add a forwarding address.”
5. Find the email for the other account (Trello, Evernote, etc.) by checking that account in a separate window.
6. Click on “Add a forwarding address.” Copy and paste the email from your other account.
7. Check your other service to find the access code that IFTTT will send you.
8. Click the down arrow in the search box.
9. Type “email@example.com” into the From field.
10. Add a label to these emails such as “Daily Digest.”
11. Click “Create filter.”
12. Click on “Forward it to” and choose the email from the drop-down menu.
13. Save any changes as needed.
That’s it. Now when the daily digest comes to your email each day, a copy of it will go to your productivity software. I have mine set to save on a Trello board with my daily todo list. I check it in the morning, complete any immediate tasks, and organize the other information.
Once you’ve tried using the applet that creates a daily digest, check out the other applets on the site that are compatible with other programs you use. I think you’ll find some of them very handy!